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Outdated by Canon

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"Who was the mother of Bob?"

The realm of fanfiction is an interesting place. Where canon may be scant with details, fans of a work can take up the task of filling in perceived holes in a story. This may include creating their own characters to flesh out a character's lineage or coming up with reasons why certain ones behave as they do. After all, what if the story never bothers to tell us who the parents of the protagonist were? Or the deal behind that guy with the cool name who's always mentioned but never shown? If one of these fan works becomes popular enough, it will spread across the community and its ideas become an accepted fact of the show/book/movie's lore. Or mocked, if the fic is lacking in quality. Either way, these questions raised by the canonical work which the fans latched onto haven't been answered and never will be, so fans are free to continue playing with them... right?

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Outdated by Canon is when fan works (and the theories backing them) are Jossed by revelations or events in the canonical product; most often in regards to characterization. For example, a fanfic writer might decide that Bob's unseen mother is a Retired Badass who instilled and promoted Bob's own thirst for adventure. This fanfic becomes popular and soon the entire fandom chooses this as their fanon, with other fanfics following suit. Various stories are made about Bob's mom teaching him how to fight, or giving him hero advice, or even coming out of retirement to help Bob and his friends stop the Big Bad. Then several installments later, when the creators of the canonical work finally take us to Bob's childhood home to meet his mom, it turns out she's an overprotective woman who's terrified of even leaving her house. These fan works are now outdated pieces of media that have been entirely discredited, leaving future fans who find them wondering why an old fic they just stumbled upon has Bob's mom threatening to punch out an eldritch abomination instead of fainting at the sight of one.

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The earlier the fanwork was made in the life of the work that inspired it, the more likely it will be hit by this trope: after all, the beginning of a work is when the audience has the least understanding of the world they've been presented with, increasing the chance of early theories being jossed.

Also a specific form of Canon Foreigner, O.C. Stand-in, and potentially Hilarious in Hindsight. Some fans may invoke Better Than Canon and Fanon Discontinuity, especially if one specific character interpretation was popular with the community because that version was well-written or served as great eye-candy. Often the result of an Unknown Character finally getting revealed.

This is only a trope applicable to fan works, as any licensed examples fall into the Canon Discontinuity, Canon Marches On or What If? scenarios. Part of Time Marches On. See also Resolved Noodle Incident. Contrast Ascended Fanon or I Knew It!, where the popular fanfic interpretation ends up being part of canon either because of its popularity with fans or because that was always the plan.

Spoilers for the source material may be unmarked, as examples need to explain how the fan works are outdated. Read at your own risk.


Examples: (Sorted by source material)

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    Anime and Manga 
  • One Accel World fanfic, which has since been deleted, had Haru encounter Kuroyukihime (aka Black Lotus)'s parent (the one who installed Brain Burst on her, which requires a close real-life relationship), and the person in question is male. It ultimately turns out that Kuroyukihime's canonical parent is White Cosmos, her older sister. It's also worth noting that Haru had correctly suspected that Kuroyukihime's parent was a girl as far back as Volume 2 of the light novel.
  • In the Beastars fanfic Protector, Pina is shown to have some degree of PTSD for being kidnapped at the end of the Murder Incident Solution Arc. Chapter 182, released much after the fic was underway, reveals that Pina feels nothing of the sort, and has actually befriended his former kidnapper while he was in juvie.
  • Code Geass: In Of Monsters and Men, Nunnally is blind and keeps her Eyes Always Shut of her own free will. The anime later confirmed that she's only blind because her eyes can't open. Her vision itself is fine.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Multiverse has enough relevancy to have its own page.
    • The concept of another android was quite popular with some fanworks, with Android 21. In Bringer of Death, Android 21 is an energy-absorbing android Doctor Gero created just in case due to the story events, described as a giant man with it pronouns. Dragon Ball Fighter Z would introduce Android 21, a female bio-android made with the cells of every character lacking the energy absorption powers, including the Eldritch Abomination Majin Buu. As such, she is a Hot Scientist that can shapeshift in a Cute Monster Girl form with a love for sweets, and is directly based on the mother of Doctor Gero's son, being a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
    • Dragon Ball Zero (Toyble): Alongside taking elements of the movies and The Father of Goku (Which as of this writing, is in canon limbo), this doujinshi presents Raditz meeting Vegeta and Nappa after the destruction of Planet Vegeta and the death of his squad. Further material released in the 2010s would show Raditz was a member of Vegeta's squad from day one, and they survived because Vegeta ignored Freeza's order. Nappa and Vegeta's reaction to Planet Vegeta's destruction likewise is outdated. In the doujinshi, they laughed about it very sadistically after hearing about it. In Broly? Nappa is visibly horrified while Vegeta is more indifferent about not being able to become the new king.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • The 2004 fangame, Fullmetal Alchemist: Bluebird's Illusion, has Hoenhiem as the leader of the Homunculi. This was before it was revealed that Hoenhiem and Father were two separate people. This game also has Edward become Pride, since this was made long before it was revealed that Selim Bradley was Pride.
  • Girls und Panzer
    • In Strange Waters, which was written before the last two episodes of the anime aired, has the final match end differently, with Kuromorimine's flag tank being taken down after being exposed, instead of Miho defeating Maho in a tank duel. The fic also portrays Oarai's tank crews, apart from Anglerfish, as being significantly less competent than they became by the end of the anime.
      • In said final match, we see Duck Team's Type 89 get completely destroyed by Kuromorimine's arsenal in the final match, necessitating a replacement for the now tankless team. While the actual battle did feature the tank be taken down by KMM, the Type 89 was still repairable (much like the rest of the Oarai tanks) and was able to soldier on in to subsequent entries.
    • Boys Und Sensha Do
      • The fic seems to imply that the high school tankers' only way to continue tankery after high school is to enter the Self-Defense force and study under Shiho. Naturally, the film's showing university-level tankery teams and other tankery houses show that the Nishizumi school isn't the only choice.
      • There's also Miho's decision to demote Momo from deputy commander after her poor performance against Dalian while filling in for Miho during the latter's recovery. While reasonable, the decision eventually ends up being at odds with how in Das Finale, Momo is made commander in an attempt to help her get into Yuzu and Anzu's university.
      • The fic has Miho fondly reminisce about her time in her middle school tankery team. Phase Erika shows that her time at the school was unpleasant, from feeling out of her depth in the tankery team to having to treat Maho as a commander first and a sister second.
    • Always Advancing
    • Speedster and Spymaster: An Unlikely Love Story opens with Earl Grey, the former team commander of St. Gloriana, flying back to Japan from England where she was studying abroad after graduating STGGC. While spinoff mangas in this series are more often than not Loose Canon, this depiction is at odds with how Saga of Pravda sent her off by way of having her go into an arranged marriage just before the events of the main series started, thus never going to a university of any sort.
  • While it was part of a parody of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure made by Clamp, Clamp in Wonderland (released in 1994) is the oldest most well known piece of fiction to talk about Jotaro Kujo's offspring. In it, Jotaro and Kakyoin have a son which is basically a slender version of Jotaro named Jota (sometimes translated as Jouta) Kujo, with his own stand that Jotaro calls "Charmy Green" after green soap. Ten years later Jota/Jouta would later inexplicably grow to be a high schooler to have adventures with Josuke Higashikata, the part 4 Jojo, while having some resentment over his workaholic father. Then in the 2000s, Jotaro's daughter Jolyne Cujoh (whose mother appears to be a normal, previously unmentioned non-Stand using woman) would appear, and she and her stand are nothing like Jotaro's... but she does have resentment over Jotaro's absence and her stand has similar powers to Hierophant Green, Kakyoin's stand. Let's just say that the canon vs. doujin camps lead to some very hotheaded Ship-to-Ship Combat in fandom circles, and leave it to that.
  • Little Witch Academia:
    • Fireworks was written back when the franchise only consisted of the original short film and is one of the first fanfics ever made for the franchise, thus, it unsurprisingly contains several oddities, such as professors Ursula and Nelson being called Hidaka and Kaname respectively (as both were unnamed in the short film) and a different personality for Diana from canon, who is depicted in the fanfic as being far more silly and teasing towards Akko as opposed to the serious and aloof girl shown in the film's sequel, Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade and the later TV series.
    • Many early fanfics (including the aforementioned Fireworks) tend to portray Diana's parents to be harsh, aloof, stuffy and haughty parents who tend to push Diana to do perfect in order for her to honor the Cavendish name. A massive contrast to how the TV series eventually showed them (or at least, her mother), as not only was her mother stated to be an deeply affectionate and kind person, but also revealed that Diana lost her parents 10 years prior to the events of the series.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • The name of the missing eldest Todoroki sibling was widely speculated, especially after theories emerged that he became the villain Dabi. Karma in Retrograde ended up naming him Ryouta. The Pro Hero arc ended up settling on Touya.
    • One thing many fics tried addressing was Aizawa's past history of expelling students. Fics like Sleeper Hit AU, Coyote and The Gatekeeper would deconstruct the idea, either by taking Aizawa to task for doing so, or by examining the hypothetical fallout behind expelling so many students. Canon would reveal however that the "expulsion" was a glorified scare tactic. That while they would have expulsions on their records, any student Aizawa expelled he'd immediately re-enroll, with the idea it would convince them to improve themselves going forward. The entire class from the prior year is likewise revealed to still be attending UA as Class 2A now, and while some of them understandably don't like Aizawa, others like Mawata Fuwa are grateful to him for doing so.
  • Naruto:
    • The Sasuke/Sakura doujinshi Hide and Seek has Sakura's mother looking very much like an older version of Sakura. The non-canonical movie Road to Ninja later revealed Mebuki's design (and Sakura actually gets her pink hair from her dad).
    • Shiruka yo is the oldest Naruto fic on FanFiction.Net, dating back to 2001 (predating even the anime). It depicts Itachi having tried to strangle Sasuke during the Uchiha massacre. Not only is this off because it was later shown that Itachi didn't lay a finger on Sasuke, but it's also completely out-of-character for Itachi.
    • Team 8 started in 2006, so Itachi is intentionally written in the way he was first portrayed, as having killed his own clan merely for power (although Itachi's debut chapter in the fic came out after the manga chapter revealing the truth about him). This also might be a justified instance due to the Alternate Universe nature of the fic.
    • Doujinshi like After the War which were made before the ending but were set in the aftermath of the Fourth Shinobi World War showed Tsunade still being the Hokage, when in Canonicity she stepped down immediately after it, passing the mantle to Kakashi.
    • Daddy's Little Girl from 2008 is an example, and it also depicts Sasuke's daughter being named "Mikoto" after his mother rather than "Sarada."
  • One Piece: Marie D. Suesse and the Mystery New Pirate Age!, while mostly faithful to canon at the time of its writing, was written before Trafalgar Law's character was explored in the Punk Hazard and Dressrosa arcs, so the writer mainly worked off of his relatively limited screentime in the Sabaody and Marineford arcs. As such, in the fic, Law's goal is to become Pirate King instead of getting revenge on Doflamingo for murdering Corazon, Doflamingo's brother and the person who saved Law's life.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • The Story Of Silver Ketchum was written between the releases of Red and Blue and Gold and Silver. This leads to elements such as pre-evolutions and evolutions that don't exist, "Pikablu" (Marill) being an Electric/Normal type, and moves that aren't canonical.
    • Sylvia the Sylveon was written after Sylveon was revealed as a new Fairy Type Eevee evolution but before its evolution method was known, meaning the author had to invent a means for Sylvia to evolve into a Sylveon; she had some scientists use an (unnamed) item. It later emerged that Sylveon's canonical evolution method requires an Eevee to have its affection raised to a high level while knowing a Fairy Type move. The author acknowledges this in her notes at the end of the story.
    • The Crossover fanfic Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail has Professor Cerise oblivious to his daughter's dislike for Pokémon and how he focuses more on his research and on Ash and Goh. This was written before Episode 31 revealed that he actually was aware of his daughter's insecurities and encouraged her to try something new. Canonicity also depicts her distaste for Pokémon as a character flaw that must be overcome, while the story treats it as a valid stance.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Resonance Days:
      • One of the main characters is the newly-incarnated form of the witch Charlotte as a Cute Monster Girl, whose original human form was never revealed (humanizations of her were very common in the fandom). This became outdated when The Rebellion Story introduced a canon human form Charlotte. Nagisa Momoe, who doesn't match up in the slightest with the version in Resonance Days: the character is described as a tall, pink-haired girl who's somewhat older than Mami, while Nagisa is a short, white-haired Token Mini-Moe, and that's before you get into their personalities.
      • The character of Reibey, an Incubator with a very distinct personality and design from Kyubey, was made when the spinoff Puella Magi Kazumi Magica was still ongoing, which featured a character named Juubey, shown to be quite different from Kyubey. This led to it being widely assumed in the fandom that there were lots of other Incubators running around, possibly being assigned to different cities or worlds. However, it was revealed very late in the manga's run that Juubey was not a normal Incubator, but rather an artificial being created by a magical girl from one of Kyubey's corpses, and Kyubey implicitly suggests that other Incubators having their own personalities is basically unheard-of. Other spinoffs have affirmed this, as even a story taking place in medieval France featured Kyubey, suggesting that his species operates on a Hive Mind.
      • Kirika's witch is named Margot, which was the common theory at the time, as the words "MARGOT GARDEN" appear in her barrier in the manga (the words apparently being an allusion to a Mary Cassatt painting, which the witch resembles). Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story revealed it was actually Latria.
    • Stars Above: As noted in the very last chapter, creators BHS and AshenDream knew that The Rebellion Story, being already in the works, would outdate this. However, there were other things that they could not anticipate:
      • The forms that the Demons took, based on the Nine Circles of Hell, were inspired from what their kind was called in Japanese (translated from "Majuu"). The original anime had yet to be dubbed when this story began, and when it was, they were dubbed Wraithes, a specific type of demon. And even in Japan, it still took a while longer after the fic was completed before Wraith Arc would get published to detail how they'd actually operate canonically.
      • With Kazumi Magica still ongoing at the time, Kazumi herself was declared dead in order not to conflict with any plans still in place for that. As it turned out, she was actually a clone of someone named Michiru Kazusa, created using a Witch's heart along with Michiru's body, dictating that she would still assume the name Michiru in the story's past timeline.
    • Cheesecake was meant to deal with the girls' experiences in the Wraith-verse, two years before the Wraith Arc would be published in Japan and even longer before its chapters would be summarized on Puella Magi Wiki. It was reasonable then to assume that Nagisa would play a role in things, but in fact, she never appears canonically. (Then again, it was her Witch form, who even apologizes upon bearing her true form for deceiving her friends the whole time, that Mami introduced to the others in Homura's reality during The Rebellion Story, and she probably wouldn't have had to if their real selves already knew her.)
    • A History of Magic’s first chapter details what likely happened to Joan of Arc as a Puella Magi. Whatever the story uses is no longer true with the release of Puella Magi Tart Magica, which reveals what actually happened to her.
  • Saki:
    • While the version of Teru in Saki: After Story clearly suffers from Ron the Death Eater (not only refusing to admit that Saki is her sister, but beating up Saki after losing to her), it was written long before Chapter 128. In that chapter, which takes place just before the finals, Teru admits to Awai that Saki is her sister, and subsequent chapters imply that while the Miyanaga sisters still aren't on speaking terms, Teru doesn't hate Saki. In fact, Teru's character in the fic largely seems to be based off of her brief appearances in the first anime, which, in turn, was also aired when little was known about Teru.
    • In The Saint Is Coming, which was written in late 2012 (around the time the Side B semifinals were beginning), Rinkai gets humiliated in the finals, ending with only 10,000 pointsnote , resulting in their coach being fired. Considering that Rinkai consistently held first place for almost the entire Side B semifinals, and as of this writing, is in first place in the finals, it's unlikely that they'll end up being humiliated so badly.
    • Necessary to Win has Hisa come to Oarai in part because of her parents' divorce. In Chapter 241 of canon, it is revealed that Hisa Has Two Mommies, that she left the tournament where she'd competed against Mihoko because one of her mothers had been in an accident, and that the accident led to Hisa's mothers divorcing.

    Film — Animated 

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter:
    • Before Order of the Phoenix came out, almost everyone (particularly in the US) assumed that Ginny Weasley's given name was Virginia (for a notable example, see The Very Secret Diary). Rowling announced in an interview that Ginny's name is actually Ginevra, and this was later written into the final book, but many volumes of Virginia fanfic still lurk in the old corners of the fandom.
    • Pictured above is Blaise Zabini, a popular O.C. Stand-in since the first book. However, before the sixth book, no details outside of his name were known. Therefore, a lot of fanfics written before Half-Blood Prince depict him differently than his canonical appearance and with a different personality. (Blaise was a popular candidate for the Token Good Teammate of Slytherin, but in the book he's shown to share Malfoy's elitist views.) Especially noticeable since, as Blaise can be a female name in some regions of the world, part of the fanfics depict him as a girl. A selection of stories with Zabini written before his characterization was fleshed out appear here, but here is an extract from one of these, His Secret, which doesn't mix with the above picture.
      ''He had dark curly hair that he got from his father's side of the family, but had been sorted into Slytherin because his mother's side has been there for generations.
  • The long gap between the release of the ninth and tenth Haruhi Suzumiya light novels naturally encouraged this, particularly since the ninth novel ended on a Cliffhanger:
    • For the first nine light novels, the only time anyone’s parents are ever mentioned is Kyon making an offhand reference to his mother, who never appears herself. In addition, the long gap between the release of the ninth and tenth novels inspired quite a volume of fanfiction, one of which is Meet The Suzumiyas, in which Kyon winds up living with Haruhi, and has to deal with her parents: her father, Oruki, is an Overprotective Dad with a Hair-Trigger Temper, and her mother, Naru, is a Cloudcuckoolander and Supreme Chef—essentially, Haruhi’s character traits are split between her parents instead of the reverse. This fanfic was quite popular and other authors came to use this interpretation of Haruhi’s parents and even their names, and it might have ended there were it not for Haruhi’s briefly mentioning her mother in the tenth book. From her description, she is a career woman who can’t cook, meaning that Naru, at least, is totally inaccurate.
    • More significantly, novel nine has a scene in which Kyon receives a phone call from a girl he doesn’t know, but she calls him “senpai” and talks as though she knows him, before hanging up in frustration. The fanfic Kyon: Big Damn Hero wasted no time in giving her a name (Michikyuu Kanae) and making her a slider with a Dark and Troubled Past who joins the SOS Brigade and interacts normally with the other characters. When book ten was actually released, it turned out that the girl is named Watahashi Yasumi and isn’t a slider at all, or even a person. She is nothing more than a creation of Haruhi’s subconscious.
  • In The Hunger Games, the only information initially revealed about District 12's first victor was that they died some time prior to the start of the trilogy. This led a number of fans to invent details about who that character was and how they came to win the Games, one example being The Victors Project, in which a District 12 tribute called Camden Donner is said to have won the Tenth Hunger Games. Then The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel to the original trilogy, was published, revealing that District 12 did win the Tenth Games, but the tribute concerned was a girl called Lucy Gray Baird.
  • In a pretty silly and general example of this, The Epic of Gilgamesh mentions an encounter with the giant Humbaba, but as chunks of the poem are lost, historians weren't very clear on the exact details. In 2015, fragmentary remains of a version of the poem were discovered, which filled out Humbaba's personality in greater detail—establishing him as more of a Good Is Not Nice Nature Spirit who is beloved by all beings of the forest, with Gilgamesh being treated as morally ambiguous at best in choosing to fight and kill him. This means that many depictions of Humbaba in fiction that depicted him as nothing more than a violent monster (for instance, Pathfinder's Humbaba) are outdated.

    Video Games 
  • Kingdom Hearts: A popular Sora/Riku artist has several doujinshi where Riku is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy, since he has long hair after joining Sora in Kingdom Hearts II. This was before his Important Haircut in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
  • The Last Days of FOXHOUND was a webcomic focusing on the many quirky antagonists from the Metal Gear series. However, it was published before Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, which led to many wrong assumptions, but not all of them.
  • Metroid:
  • Splatoon fanfic First Aid Kits and Deep Secrets was written prior to the sequel's release, and thus it's outdated on many accords. For example, Inklings know how to identify Octolings. In canon, decades of the species not interacting means that most Inklings see their sister race as little more than vaguely "exotic."
  • Shin Megami Tensei
    • Continuance, a Persona 4 fanfic, was first published in 2011, before Persona 4: Arena was released. As such, not only is the protagonist called Souji Seta, his name from the manga, but his visit to Inaba for Golden Week is relatively unremarkable, and he doesn't participate in the Midnight Tournament.
    • Averted by retcon in Queen of Hearts, in which the author went back and changed the Persona 5 protagonist's name to Ren Amamiya after he received a canonical name.
    • In The AFR Universe, Futaba Sakura's orange hair is treated as natural and coming from her biological father. An official artbook was later released that reveals Futaba dyed her hair orange on a whim.
  • Remnant Inferis: DOOM posited that the Doom Slayer was the son of the original Doomguy. The canonical DOOM Eternal establishes that they're the same person.
  • The Half-Life 1 mod Echoes occasionally Flash Forwards to the future of the series' chronology, and one of said Flash Forwards is the climax of Epistle 3, Marc Laidlaw's outline for the unmade Half-Life 2: Episode 3 where the G-Man abandons Gordon aboard the Borealis whilst "hiring" Alyx, leaving him to die on the ship on a crash course to the Combine homeworld. While the mod could probably still neatly fit into canon due to its Elsewhere Fic nature, Half-Life: Alyx would provide a canonical version of Alyx's hiring, but long before the characters get to the Borealis.
  • Halo
    • "The Law of Sin and Death", written two years before the release of the first game, is one of many examples of this in halo.bungie.org's fic archives. For one, Master Chief is nowhere to be found (his role is taken up by an OC); the Pillar of Autumn had civilians on board and is on the Halo for the long haul as far as anyone knows, and the Covenant seems to consist solely of Elites. Most notably, Cortana (or "the Sword") is depicted as a mysterious AI residing in Installation 04's systems who first appears to the main character as a seraph, and engages in frequent Biblical-flavoured back-and-forth with him. Towards the end, Cortana attempts to mentally merge with him, and is none too happy to be rejected. Cortana in the final game is...not like this.
    • "Before the Storm" (2001) posits that Master Chief is not only a battleroid (a type of combat cyborg from Marathon), but possibly one of the battleroids responsible for the fall of the UESC, which was succeeded by "SolCore" (what the UNSC was called in early pre-release material). And whereas in canon, everyone's glad to have Master Chief around, this crew is wary of even having his stasis pod on board and dreads the day he must be "reactivated".
    Kaplansky looked at Bertram's expressionless face, and back to the mirror-like mask of the cyborg. Contained behind that mask was all the destructive knowledge of mankind. Everything they had fought so hard to forget.
  • "The Hidden One", a one-shot short story about the life of Amunet from Assassin's Creed, was written in 2011 six years before Origins was released. Just like her canonical counterpart, Amunet was a "Hidden One" and she was responsible for the death of Cleopatra; however, the circumstances for how she became an Assassin were completely different in Origins and its sequel comic. She was not her sister, Arsinoe IV, but instead she was a woman named Aya of Alexandria, who was married to Bayek of Siwa; they had a son named Khemu, who would be later killed by the proto-Templar Order of the Ancients. Also, she gave the queen a vial of poison to kill her. Additionally, Amunet and her husband are never called "Assassins" but instead "Hidden Ones" in-universe.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Prior to the release of the fourth and final wave of DLC, there were a number of fics that focused on aspects of Claude's fairly mysterious backstory in regards to his Almyran heritage and his status as Almyran royalty. Fairly popular ideas put in place for him were him being Almyra's Crown Prince (ultimately Jossed due to him having older half-siblings), some stories either having Claude be his birth name or giving him an Almyran name (the latter ultimately being canonical; Word of God put out his birth name being Khalid, and the fourth DLC story itself even has Claude teasing how "Claude" is a popular fake name), and, rather inexplicably, having Judith von Daphnel be his mother, primarily because they coincidentally look similar (his mother is named Tiana, and she was directly from House Riegan, although the same DLC included information noting that Judith and Claude are indeed distantly related to each other). There was also a similar rumor of Nader, an Almyran general and his combat instructor, being his father, likely due to a weird translation gaffe that the player could encounter on the Crimson Flower route.
  • Friday Night Funkin': The Rapper GF mod has Girlfriend portrayed as having a human skeleton similar to Boyfriend, since no one knew what Girlfriend's skeleton looked like at the time. However, this became inaccurate after the Week 7 update was released to Newgrounds, where Girlfriend is shown to have a clearly demonic-looking skeleton, complete with devil horns on her forehead.
  • The Dark Souls mod Dark Souls: Daughters of Ash claims in its story that Gwyn never actually linked the Fire, but instead sacrificed his daughter Gwynevere to it. Dark Souls III contradicts this plot element both implicitly and explicitly. Implicitly, numerous item descriptions throughout the game hint that Gwynevere was alive long after the first game, and in fact became the queen of Lothric. Explicitly, the final boss, the Soul of Cinder, is said to be the embodiment of every person who ever linked the Fire, and it uses Gwyn's fighting style in its second phase, outright confirming that he sacrificed himself.
  • Flandre Scarlet from Touhou Project made her first appearance as the Bonus Boss in Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, but the number of her appearances after that can be counted on one hand. Since she's introduced as living in the basement of Scarlet Devil Mansion and has done so for 495 years, she was immediately pegged as a Madwoman in the Attic, and years of Fanon built up around her being Ax-Crazy to the point of being a well-known Memetic Psychopath. However, Touhou Chireikiden ~ Foul Detective Satori eventually revealed that Flandre isn't as crazy as many fans assumed she was; she's shown to be more of a Little Miss Snarker and she actually likes living in the basement, since as a vampire she dislikes sunlight and all her meals are brought to her.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's webcomic Webcomic/Springaling began around the time the third and fourth games were released, resulting in the author having to make up information about the identities of several characters that had more details revealed about them in later installments.
    • Springtrap's human self in this comic is essentially BOB from Twin Peaks, down to sharing his name, and he wore a Fredbear suit to lure kids. Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location gives his name as William Afton, while Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator confirms that he used a golden Bonnie suit.
    • The Crying Child lacks any connection to the murderer and is named Calvin. Sister Location reveals he's one of William Afton's sons and later supplementary material heavily implies his name is Evan.
    • In life, the Puppet was a teenaged boy named Ian. Pizzeria Simulator reveals that the Puppet is possessed by a young girl named Charlie.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Belladonna Lilies: Adam, though cold and cynical, is far kinder than how he'd be revealed to be in Volume 3.
    • Momoxtoshiro has written several fanfics, including The Champion And The Singer and Camellias, that depict Weiss' father as far nicer and more loving than he is in canon.
    • The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, a fic written and completed before Volume 2 came out, depicts Cinder as a Well-Intentioned Extremist rather than the self-serving power-hungry monster she is in canon.
    • The 2014 oneshot Ivory Bones revolves around Weiss' abusive home life. It depicts her father as more hands-on abusive, while in canon Jacques' abuse is primarily emotional. Weiss also lacks her older sister Winter or her younger brother Whitley. On a more subtle note, it's implied that Blake has a Dark and Troubled Past involving her parents. In canon, Blake's parents are just fine and her issues mainly start after she ran off to join the White Fang.
    • The Makings of Team CRME: Up to about Chapter 9 of Volume 6, there was nothing in these stories that would contradict the show. Once that came out, cracks started to form when Emerald explicitly stated she didn't have anyone who loved her. In An Emerald Unearthed, she knew her father and mother before going onto the streets. Also in that chapter, it revealed that Mercury's Semblance was stolen by his father. While nothing else in The Black Hearts is contradictory, the fact that this is never mentioned would be odd considering the importance of such an event. There is also the fact that Volume 7 revealed that Watts was presumed dead by Atlas, meaning he couldn't work in a hospital during CRME. Once Volume 8 finally gave Cinder's backstory, it was completely different from the one described in My Name Is Cinder.
    • In My Huntsman Academia, the author said that Salem would be an Eldritch Abomination whose visage has driven men to madness (specifically mentioning Tyrian Callows) and that the Grimm are her eyes and ears. That she is something from beyond time and space, something incomprehensible. This was outdated by Volume 6 of canonical RWBY, which reveals her backstory to be far different. The author has confirmed that it doesn't matter, though, as he's sticking with his interpretation for consistency's sake.
    • React Watch Believe Yikes started alongside Volume 1, so lots of it clashed with the show would present, such as Ruby and Yang being orphans with Yang being adopted (their shared father is alive, and so is Yang's mother), or Ruby only having a pet rock (her dog enters the show at some point). And given it is the cast riffing on Red vs. Blue, takes a long while to make the girls realize main character Church has the same voice as their father.
    • Recovery is a take on Volume 4 written that started a few days before the first episode. It contains various differences, such as a lack of Whitley in early chapters (due to the fact he wasn't referenced in the previous volumes) and Yang's prosthetic requiring surgery.
    • RWBY: Destiny of Remnant: Raven may be aloof and pragmatic to a fault, but she's still depicted in a more positive light than her canonical counterpart, who was revealed to be selfish and cowardly.
    • Service with a Smile:
      • Adam Taurus is an Adaptational Nice Guy, which was an intentional change, but it was done before Adam went completely psycho in Volume 6. The author admits he probably wouldn't have bothered making him nice if he had known. Adam is also able to take off his mask and blend in, while in canon he has a brand over his left eye.
      • Adam tells Blake that no one in the White Fang really noticed when she disappeared; she wasn't particularly high-ranking, and those who remembered her just assumed she died on a mission. Canon soon revealed that not only was she a high-ranking member of Adam's White Fang, but she was the daughter of the original founder. Everyone noticed when she disappeared.
    • Being a fic run mostly on comedy, Weiss Reacts naturally has this, especially with the Schnee family (Winter being more... mild-mannered than canonical, Papa Schnee being a nice father, and Grandpa Schnee being the villainous one when it's actually inverted in canon).
    • White Noise was written before Volume 4 revealed that Weiss' father was abusive. Its version of Jacques is much kinder than in canon.
    • White Sheep (RWBY) has Salem surprised that she's able to have children. However, Volume 6 would reveal that she did have kids thousands of years prior. The author would retroactively incorporate this into later chapters.
  • SMG4: The fanfic Saiko Rocks has Saiko depicted as living in a two-story house in close proximity to a quicksand pit which plays a significant role in the story. "SMG4: She's Back!" would show her canonical living conditions as being an apartment.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The fan-comic Alternate History depicts the Fire Lord as a male-only position. Azula needs to produce a male heir but keeps having daughters. It was later revealed that the position of "Fire Lord" is unisex.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • For most of the show's run, there were multiple fanworks under the collective "The Mystery Trio" banner, going off the theory that the Author of the Journals was Grunkle Stan's twin brother Stanley, and they alongside Fiddleford McGucket studied the various supernatural occurrences in Gravity Falls. While Stan's having a long-lost twin brother who was the Author turned out to be I Knew It!, as well as Fiddleford being an assistant to him, the Season 2 episode "A Tale of Two Stans" would reveal that Grunkle Stan wasn't part of the research team. Not only that, but Grunkle Stan wasn't Stanford, but Stanley; he faked his death and took on his brother's identity.
    • The Return to Gravity Falls takes place three years after the end of the show. However, the author also began writing it a mere month after the show's second season began. He attempted to avert this trope by being deliberately vague about what might have happened after the events of Gideon Rises, but quite a few of the specifics he did have were jossed, such as Stan still being the owner of the Mystery Shack post-series and the aforementioned Mystery Trio theory. Any minor details that didn't greatly affect any of the fic's own plots would be rewritten as the fic went on, before the writer decided it wasn't worth the hassle and proclaimed that (for the most part) only the events up to "Not What He Seems" happened in this story's timeline.
  • The Infinity Train fanfic appropriately titled Infinity Train FANFIC was written based solely on the 2016 pilot and ended months before the series debuted, so this was bound to happen (though it also gets a surprising amount right):
    • The train in this fic was created to literally travel outside the bounds of creation to explore infinity. Meanwhile, the show's train is revealed at the end of the first season to be an Epiphanic Prison that has improving the mental health and behavior of its passengers as its only goal.
    • The fic depicts numbers as being grafted on any part of the body. In canon, the train always defaults to a passenger's hand, with Word of God stating it goes to the next available patch of skin if the person is an amputee.
  • The Loud House:
    • The fanfic What is a Person Worth? has Mr. Santiago (Bobby and Ronnie Anne's father) as a character. The fic began before episodes like "Shell Shock" and "The Loudest Mission: Relative Chaos" made it clear that he is no longer around in the show itself. In the final chapter, the author tried to correct this error by having the character die in a car crash, going with the assumption that he was dead in the show. And then this in turn became outdated when the spin-off confirmed that Mr. Santiago is in fact alive and well in the show, but just living and working in Peru, and divorced from their mother. The fic also gives his name as Marcus, when the show establishes it to be Arturo.
    • The fic "The Loudest Mission: Relative Chaos" has the Santiago's still living in Royal Woods rather than move to another city like they did in the aforementioned episode.
    • A similar situation can be found in Requiem for a Loud, in which Bobby and Ronnie Anne's mother has passed away two years before the story, and their father is now their sole parent. This part of the story was written before it became clear that in the show itself, Mrs. Santiago is alive and raising the two kids alone while her husband is away.
    • The A Loud To Stay uses the popular fan theory of Lincoln being adopted. Over a year later, the episode "Not A Loud" aired and debunked this theory.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Antipodes: As the story was written and drafted partway through Season 1, before the majority of the show's run and consequently before the introduction and exploration of several characters and setting elements, a lot of its elements show their age:
      • The core premise of the story is that, with Princess Celestia and Princess Luna gone, the sun and moon can no longer be moved and remain permanently fixed in the sky, burning on side of the world and freezing the other. Show episodes that aired after this story came out established that the celestial bodies can be moved just fine by other beings, including groups of unicorns working in concert.
      • The basic idea of Celestia and Luna being transcendent Physical Goddesses older than the world also became distinctly dated, as alicorns were eventually established as being essentially just very special ponies and the two princesses as themselves not being very magically powerful outside of specific contexts, in addition to not being much over a thousand years old.
    • Dash's New Mom centers around Rainbow Dash's widower father getting a new girlfriend, and Rainbow's reaction to the event. After the fanfic's completion, "Parental Glideance" revealed that both of Rainbow's parents were still alive.
    • Claro de Luna was written prior to "Luna Eclipsed" and depicts Luna as a slightly shy, adorkable mare with a short mane (like her season 1 design). It also features ponies that age like actual horses instead of comparable to humans.
    • Progress uses Luna's design from the pilot and depicts her as an adorkable Fish out of Temporal Water.
    • Strangers features an older Sweetie Belle. It predates Sweetie getting her Cutie Mark and thus it uses her G3 mark instead of her canonical G4 one.
    • Lullaby for a Princess depicts Celestia versus Nightmare Moon. It was animated prior to the official version and deviates in many manners. For example, Celestia had a pink mane in the animation that changed colours upon using the Elements of Harmony, but in canon Celestia had her current mane even back then. The fight is also more action packed and dramatic than the official portrayal. Celestia breaks out in tears at the end of the battle. In canon, Celestia does shed tears but it's a far more subdued reaction than in Lullaby for a Princess.
    • The Moon Rises depicts Starswirl as being around during the Nightmare Moon incident. Later episodes revealed that he was long gone by then.
    • Bubbles depicts Derpy Hooves as developmentally and physically impaired. Her later canonical characterization has her as a ditz with some vision impairments due to a lazy eye.
    • Why Am I Crying? was written prior to season 5 episode "Crusaders of The Lost Mark" and so contradicts that episode and some others, besides Diamond Tiara not dying before that season and surviving into adulthood:
      • Diamond Tiara's mother is revealed to be dead having passed away due to complications with the pregnancy of Diamond Tiara's little brother. In canon, Diamond Tiara is an only child and her mother, Spoiled Rich, was revealed to be very much alive and unfortunately nowhere as nice as Diamond Tiara's mother in the story was implied to be.
      • The Cutie Mark Crusaders are implied to have gained their Cutie Marks separately (it is mentioned Scootaloo got hers last). In canon, the Crusaders gained their marks at the same time.
      • Diamond Tiara's Cutie Mark is explained to represent a desire to be like her mom - a model. In canon, Spoiled Rich is not a model and the Cutie Mark was revealed to represent Diamond Tiara's skill of leadership.
      • The fic shows that Scootaloo lives with her father who is divorced from his wife. Season 9 episode "The Last Crusade" revealed that Scootaloo's parents have been away traveling and are still together.
      • The final chapter, where the CMC are adults, has a future version of Ponyville that has Twilight still living there. In the show's Grand Finale, Twilight returned to live in Canterlot while the CMC were still children.
    • In Princess Trixie Sparkle it is revealed that Starswirl the Bearded turned into and is now trapped as the Tree of Harmony. While season 7 did reveal a connection between Starswirl and the Tree, he seeded it (with the other Pillars of Equestria) rather than morph into it. He was, however, trapped in Limbo afterward.
    • The webcomic Time Fades has an elderly Spike recounting the lives of the Mane Six and himself up to their deaths. It came out around the time of Seasons 6 and 7 and so contradicts those seasons and the Grand Finale in a few ways:
      • None of Spike's lanky adult forms resemble his beefy adult form in canon.
      • Twilight remains in her normal body proportions. The Distant Finale shows her grown into Princess Celestia's proportions.
      • The Changelings war with Equestria. In canon, they reform and become allies before any such conflict. They also get new forms.
      • Twilight becomes ruler of Equestria after Changeling impostors kill Celestia and Luna. In canon, Twilight became ruler after the Princesses retired.
      • Queen Chrysalis' final fate involves her being murdered. In canon, her final fate was to be turned to stone.
      • Prior to becoming Captain of the Wonderbolts, Rainbow Dash loses a wing during the war with the Changelings and is forced to wear a metal one for the rest of her life. While the fic predicted that Dash would join the Bolts and eventually become Captain, she had both wings intact as of the Grand Finale.
    • Kindness's Reward has this in several fashions:
      • The story predates the IDW comics canonizing that Trixie grew up with a single mother. Kindness's Reward depicts Trixie as growing in an orphanage until she ran away.
      • The story revolves around Fluttershy taking in a deathly ill Trixie. Later episodes confirm that Fluttershy's medical skills apply only to woodland animals, not ponies.
      • The plot begins with Trixie being lost in the Everfree Forest for weeks. The series later showed that Trixie actually went drifting and ended up working on the Pie's farm for a while.
    • 2015's When the Bough Breaks revolves around Cadance and Shining Armor having a stillborn pegasus son. They would later canonically have an alicorn daughter.
    • The Vinyl Scratch Tapes has Vinyl tear into Princess Celestia for banishing Luna to the moon. Almost all of her arguments were Jossed both by Word of God and canonical episodes, to the point a later chapter has Luna explain in detail to Vinyl why she was wrong.
    • Darkest Before Dawn depicted the young Twilight Sparkle as an only child, but "A Canterlot Wedding" revealed that she has an older brother, Shining Armor. The author originally planned to do more "books" chronicling each school year, but canceled it after finishing Year 1 because of this.
  • The webcomic Grim Tales from Down Below, a crossover series between many cartoons created Chi: the daughter of Aku from Samurai Jack. Born from him thanks to Voluntary Shapeshifting, she's a Cute Monster Girl with lesbian undertones (due to Author Appeal) that can be described as Aku as a cute girl, bringing the best out of him. In 2017, Samurai Jack returned for one more season, featuring Ashi, the actual daughter of Aku: a Dark Action Girl born as a member of the Daughters of Aku, a team of assassins who served an Aku-worshiping cult and Jack's eventual Love Interest. And while she is revealed to be Aku's literal daughter, she is not a Daddy's Little Villain, as he wasn't even aware she existed and both see each other as enemies. And Aku didn't give birth to anyone.
  • The OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes fanfic series simply known as the Perfect AU was subject to this multiple times. Before said fanfic series gained its name, it referred to Perfect KO as Kaio, since his name had not yet been confirmed in the show and the author considered it to be a good compromise - the author later went back and corrected this. His portrayal is also slightly different from the show's in general. Later on, this came up again due to the show having not yet clarified the connection between Laserblast, Shadowy Figure and Professor Venomous; in the fic, Shadowy Figure is Laserblast's Superpowered Evil Side (and Laserblast lacked the energy-draining ability he has in canon; Shadowy is his non-laser "power") who pulled a Split-Personality Takeover when the donut shop exploded, and Laserblast did, in a sense, die in that explosion (since only Shadowy remains). Venomous, meanwhile, is an entirely separate person. In the show, Laserblast was physically unaffected by the explosion, and merely chose to become a villain around that time, Professor Venomous is Laserblast after his Face–Heel Turn, and Shadowy Figure is his alter ego he sometimes turns into, who eventually tries to permanently seize control of his body much later. Additionally, in the fic Carol actually more-or-less knows what happened to Laserblast.
  • The She-Ra and the Princesses of Power fanfic Cat-Ra has its Lotus-Eater Machine chapters depict Beast Island as the origin of Catra and her kind, being an untamed wilderness that was later ravaged by the Horde, which was a popular theory prior to season four. While those chapters were written after that season released, the author had not yet watched it, meaning they weren't privy to the reveal that Beast Island is a man-made island made mostly of discarded, ancient technology and host to very little natural life.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Magna Clades: The fic was made during the middle of the show's first season. It features significant divergences from canon, like the Gems being from an alternate universe named Mineralis and having males of their kind.
    • New Feelings: Much like Magna Clades above, the fanfic was written during the show's first season. It also features the Gems having males and females when they're a feminine-presenting One-Gender Race in canon.
    • Crystal Gem Academy portrays "Pink Diamond" as simply being the title of Rose Quartz. Later events in the show's canon make it clear that it's the other way around, with "Rose Quartz" being an alias that Pink Diamond used.
    • In That Which Surrounds, there is no acknowledgement of Rose being Pink Diamond. More blatantly, when Steven dies, Rose reforms — a far cry from the canonical "SHE'S GONE!" scene, which confirmed that even when separated from Steven, his mother's gem is still his and only manifests a Hard Light version of Steven rather than her.
    • The humorous fan blog Texts Between Gems encountered this in various ways; most notably, its initial depiction of Yellow Diamond turned out to be very different from her canonical counterpart... and since the blog was already essentially Crack Fic (and made many jokes involving gems referring to each other as being family members despite them technically not having relatives), it explained her blatantly out of character behavior away by revealing that those texts were actually from her very non-canonical twin sister "Mellow Diamond."
  • The Voltron: Legendary Defender fanfic series Voltron: Duality gave Pidge and Matt's mother the name Karen, before Word of God revealed that her name was Colleen.
  • Lord of the Castle is a crossover between Justice League and Castlevania (2017), though takes major inspiration from the both franchises as a whole, having villains from the former like Cornell and Shaft and heroes from the latter like John Constantine and Mister Terrific. Because this story was published at the release of Season 2, it became outdated in many ways following Seasons 3 and 4.
    • Alucard elects to sink Castlevania to the bottom of the ocean until Aquaman and his son are sent there by Orm (as per The Enemy Below), and him saving them is what introduces him to the Justice League. In the actual series, Alucard keeps Castlevania where it was teleported by Sypha, above the Belmont Hold.
    • Carmilla and the Styrian Council are all alive and united, whereas in Season 4, Carmilla and Lenore are both dead, and Striga and Morana abandon her.
    • One of the biggest, however, involves Death in his alignment, fate, and characterization.
      • In the fanfic, his characterization is based on his game counterpart, where he is Dracula's loyal right-hand man. While he does pledge his services to Alucard upon Dracula's death, his loyalty to the dhampyr's father is ultimately stronger. When Alucard is turned 100% human by Mr. Mxyzptlk, some of Dracula's servants (including the aforementioned Cornell and Shaft) escape from Hell with Death using Loophole Abuse to keep them on Earth instead of sending them back, and works alongside them in an attempt to revive Dracula. Death currently remains at large and very much alive. Personality-wise, he keeps the polite, soft-spoken demeanor of his game counterpart, and even has fond memories of working alongside Dracula in raising a young Alucard.
      • Compared to that, Death in the animation is the Greater-Scope Villain, and an Omnicidal Maniac who feeds on death itself. While he does want to revive Dracula, it's not out of any kind of loyalty or admiration; he does so with the intent of deliberately botching Dracula's resurrection to drive him insane and kill all life on Earth so he will never go hungry again. He is also killed by Trevor Belmont in the penultimate episode of the series. Finally, in contrast to the fanfic making Death a polite, soft-spoken antagonist, the last season has Death being Sophisticated as Hell, either talking in an upper-class voice or swearing like a sailor with a good amount of F-bombs and looks down on pretty much everybody else like gum stuck to his non-existent shoe.
  • The release of Octonauts: Above & Beyond, which features non-anthropomorphic deer and tigers, caused this trope to happen to the fanfic Junior Officers, which features anthropomorphic deernote  and tigersnote .
  • The "Fairly Future Series" by KwazyKandyPie, written in 2004, depicts Cosmo and Wanda as having a daughter named Venus. "Fairly Odd Baby" would later give them a son named Poof.
    • The third and final entry in the series, Secrets, Secrets, depicts Wanda as a princess with a mother, father and brother. Canon would later reveal that she has a father who runs the Fairyland garbage collection like it was the Mafia, as well as a twin sister, but no mother.
  • In The Fairly OddParents fanfiction Love, Marriage, and Ulterior Motives, Timmy says that Da Rules forbid him for wishing up a child for Cosmo and Wanda, while Coming Full Circle (by the same author) has Wanda explain that she and Cosmo never had children because she is unable to bear children. Come "Fairly Odd Baby", Timmy DOES wish up a child for Cosmo and Wanda without being forbidden to do so by Da Rules, and it's revealed that MALE faries carry and give birth.

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